Covid-19 Surface Testing FAQs

Safe and clean work environments are crucial in the best of times, and even more so now. Accordingly, Emport LLC is proud to offer rapid analysis of environmental surfaces for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) may be stable for up to 9 days on ambient surfaces, and may be active up to 28 days on surfaces at refrigerated temperatures (39°F/4°C) depending on conditions such as humidity and surface type.

The active virus is shed by infected people through nasal and oral as well as fecal shedding. Research has shown that people may acquire the virus via aerosols and after touching contaminated objects.

Global Pandemic: Number of cases and mortality rate.
John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center updates statistics for infection, death and recovery rates.

Why is SARS-CoV2 so Infectious?
The higher infection rate of SARS-CoV2 may to be due to:

  • Higher numbers of viruses in the upper respiratory tract (e.g., 1000X more).
  • Greater potential to shed high numbers of the virus while asymptomatic
  • Peak shedding of the virus occurs early in infection.
  • It is likely that large droplets and not aerosols are the greatest contributor to the spread of the infection.

The New England Journal of Medicine has a comprehensive paper reviewing the infective stability between SARS-CoV2 and SARS-CoV1.

Detecting virus on surfaces has two purposes. Firstly, it is an early warning system – simply swab surfaces in high‐touch areas of facilities where people are congregating. Secondly, it allows for the validation and verification of cleaning and sanitizing protocol following all suspected or confirmed cases of COVID‐19 infection among employees, guests or patients. The test can be performed in any sized facility:

  • Food Production & Distribution
  • Retail and Foodservice
  • Medical and Care Facilities
  • Educational & Recreational Facilities
  • Lodging & Hospitality
  • Offices

The Covid-19 swab can be used on a diverse range of surfaces including all metals, plastics, rubber, laminate, wood, corrugate, porcelain, etc.

Preventing the Spread of SARS-CoV2
Tantamount to controlling the spread of SARS-CoV2 is keeping persons who may be in the early stages of illness away from uninfected people. People who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic can shed virus particles and infect others prior to feeling ill or receiving a diagnosis of Covid-19. Accordingly, detecting viral particles in your workplace is important for limiting risk within your facility.

Testing for SARS-Co-V2 on surfaces can identify possible contamination in high-touch areas in your facility. Further, it can be used to verify the effectiveness of your sanitation plan. Studies indicate the virus “survives” on hard surfaces (stainless steel, plastic) for 3 – 9 days and on porous surfaces for less than 1 day.

You swab; we test.
To purchase this analysis, we ask you to commit to testing 25 surface samples for the virus. You’ll receive a collection kit to swab 25 surfaces, and you can return those swabs to our partner lab at your convenience. You’ll get results the day after the lab receives the swabs.
 
The test platform is based on the CDC’s 2019-nCOV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel Protocol and holds FDA/EUA approval.
 

What does the test look for?
The test will detect both active and inactive virus particles so it’s a great way to determine whether or not there are contaminated surfaces — but also whether or not your cleaning program is sufficient.

What does the sampling kit contain?
One kit contains pre-packed supplies to collect data from 25 surface locations  (swabs, reagents, and resealable collection bags). You have six months from time of purchase to use all 25 swab packs; swabs can be shipped back to our partner lab in any volume; one at a time, all 25 at once, or anything in between.

Will I need anything else in order to conduct a test?
Items required but not supplied:

  • additional sealable bag for return shipping (for example, our sterile sampling bags)
  • cleaning solutions for sanitizing the outside of the bag and your test environment.
  • PPE (gloves and facemask) to protect against sample contamination (available for purchase).

Need additional information? Emport is happy to answer your questions. Contact us!

We also offer video training for any locations that order the Covid-19 kit, so that we can go over correct swabbing technique with the team members doing the testing.

Eliminating the SARS-CoV2 Virus on Surfaces
Safe and clean work environments are crucial in the best of times, and even more so now.  The surface disinfectants identified by EPA as being effective against SARS-CoV2 should be your first choice in your sanitation plan. Be sure to read and follow the instructions – including dwell time.

For more detailed information we suggest the following resources:

  • COVID-19 PREVENTION: ENHANCED CLEANING AND DISINFECTION PROTOCOLS – University of Washington
  • List N of disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 – EPA 
  • Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities – CDC
  • How to clean and disinfect schools – CDC
    • note! This page includes excellent guidance on the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. An excerpt:

    Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing

    1. Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
    2. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
    3. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Emport offers video training for these and other tests. We’re happy to review correct swabbing technique with your team members.
We offer a variety of cost-effective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), an essential component of any workplace safety program.